New Express, 12/17/07
Domestic smartphone manufacturer Dopod is to unveil a new low-end CDMA brand, Vivie, for phones commissioned by China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH). These are standard phones costing several hundred yuan, not Dopod's usual Windows Mobile smartphones.
According to a Dopod insider, the firm has maintained a strategic partnership with China Mobile since 2002, with all its phones bar one being customized for China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK). Industry insiders believe that the new brand and low-end orientation are designed to assuage China Mobile's discontent at the new partnership with China Unicom.
When asked why the Dopod logo did not appear on the phones, the company explained that it would not use it on a low-cost phone as it did not match the brand orientation.
China Mobile currently has four Dopod phones for sale, all targeted at high-spending consumers.